Sadly, mental health issues don’t take a holiday over the festive season. For some, their symptoms become even worse at this time of year.

“Christmas can be a difficult time for too many,” according to Professor Joe Rafferty CBE, one of the ZSA’s founder members. “Suicide prevention is something we can all be aware of and take part in.”

We’re highlighting the increased pressures felt by some at this time of year, and how others can open up and help them, with the launch of our new video and song called You’re Not Alone.

The moving music video has been specially produced and donated to us by Manchester-based singer/songwriter and film maker Josh Woods, and includes actors Rydian Cook and Steve Murphy.

“I wrote this song because I want people to know that you’re not alone,” explains Josh. “People who’ve taken the ZSA training will understand that and want to help if you’re struggling.”

You can watch You’re Not Alone below. Please also take a few minutes to take our free online training and encourage others to do the same. And have the confidence to help save a life in 2022.

“We’re highlighting the increased pressures felt by some at this time of year, and how others can open up and help them”

How the festive period can affect people

Christmas and New Year can be magical, but they can also make people feel anxious, isolated or worried. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Feeling under pressure to deliver the ‘perfect’ Christmas, particularly after last year
  • Not being able to see the people you want
  • Feeling left out or alone
  • Not being able to access your normal services, or the people who help you
  • Memories of previous Christmases – whether they are bad, or even good

What to do if you are worried about someone

We can all help someone who is struggling with their mental health. The most important thing to do is to start the conversation:

  • Ask them how they are. And ask them again. Let them talk about what’s upsetting them.
  • Be reassuring. Tell them you will help them to get the help they need.
  • Encourage them to talk to their GP, and offer to go with them.
  • Check back in with them regularly.

Finding help and support - across the UK, there is a wide range help and support available for anyone who may be struggling and needs information, support and/or advice. Visit our support services webpage for more information. 

Take the training

You can also take the ZSA’s free online training, which will give you more information about how to help people, and more confidence to do so.

Urgent mental health support 

If you think someone is in immediate danger, call 999.

Information about what to do if you or someone else is in a mental health crisis and needs urgent mental health support can be found on our urgent help pages

Make a donation to support ZSA

You can support the work of the Zero Suicide Alliance and help to keep our suicide awareness training FREE by making a donation.